Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development



DIVERSITY MAKERS PRODUCTION TEAM

Leonora Chapman
Excecutive Producer
Radio Canada International

Savyasaachi Jain
Executive Producer
Thomson Foundation

THE IDEA BEHIND DIVERSITY MAKERS

By Leonora Chapman

A few months ago, my son Gaston, born in Argentina, married Setareh, who was born in Iran. Both are Canadian citizens and speak French and English, Canada's official languages, as well as their mother tongues, Spanish and Farsi. On a summer afternoon in Montreal, Gaston invited some friends over to eat at my house. During the meal, one of them asked Gaston if he thought if was possible to live with someone from a different culture. He replied," If you're in love, yes. And we're not that different." More questions ensued, followed by more answers, and some reflection. I sat observing them. One was of Vietnamese descent, another, Haitian, the third, Armenian, and a fourth, Egyptian. The other three were of European descent and had been in Canada for generations. At that precise moment, I discovered that these young people, without realising it, were participating in a creative process that helps to define a harmonious multicultural society.

Mahatma Gandhi was right: ''No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive.'' This is best exemplified by youth of today, who move effortlessly from Myanmar to Malaysia, from China to Philippines, from United States to Indonesia, from the Czech Republic to India, from Hong Kong to Canada, from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, and so on.

The group of young people lunching at my table are not just Canadian, but global citizens. Of so many diverse places, languages and cultures, they inspired me to create Diversity Makers, from a peace journalism* point of view, with the idea of promoting goodwill and understanding. They reminded me that barriers are not geographical, but lie within the confines of the mind.

* “Peace journalism is about bringing news that promotes peace, not war. Positive feedback matters very much. The media rewards acts of violence with coverage, but hardly does so in the case of acts of peace”.
Johan Galtung , principal founder of the discipline of Peace and Conflict studies.


Manil Cooray
Senior Programme Manager
AIBD

Marcel Gomez
Programme Manager
AIBD

Pierre-léon Lafrance
Editor-in-Chief
Radio Canada international

We thank Manil Cooray, Senior Programme Manager, AIBD, Marcel Gomez, Programme Manager, AIBD and Pierre-Léon Lafrance, Editor-in-Chief, RCI, for their valuable support throughout the production process.